Prior to April 2009, collaborative research activity across culture and sport was centred on Regional Cultural Observatories (RCOs) and research capacities led by the Regional Cultural Consortiums (RCCs). As a result of the recent DCMS Review of Regional Working, the RCCs closed on 31 March 2009. The Arts Council, in partnership with English Heritage, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and Sport England has commissioned BMG Research to conduct an options appraisal to consider how regional culture and sport research needs can best be met now that the RCO hosts have ceased to operate. This project is expected to report in June 2009. DCMS funding of RCOs ended with the closing of the RCCs on 31 March 2009. In the meantime, some of the functions and services that were previously provided by RCOs are continuing in some regions. In particular, in the North West a consortium of higher education institutions, led by the University of Liverpool, has become the new host for the North West Cultural Observatory and the Arts Council is contributing £10,000 to support the transition to the new arrangements in 2009-10.